This is my favorite time of year, this golden-aspen-football-pumpkin season that extends to turkey-more-football-pie-gratitude season, followed by the snow-falling-tree-decorating-music-lights-gift-giving season.
The Byrds released a song in 1965: “To everything, turn, turn, turn; there is a season, turn, turn, turn …” Long before the Byrds sang this song, an ancient king, Solomon, penned these words:
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die … a time to mourn and a time to dance … a time to be silent and a time to speak … a time to love and a time to hate …Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A time of death, loss, mourning: Loss of health or a job, financial setbacks, death of a dream, death of a loved one, a broken marriage, a missed opportunity.
A time of birth, of dancing: The birth or adoption of a child or grandchild, the start of a new career, the blossoming of a new love relationship, an unexpected inheritance, dancing at your daughter’s wedding.
A time to hate: The injustice that causes so much suffering in the world — hate it enough to do our small part in making life better for someone struggling with difficulty.
A time to love and appreciate: To notice and love the people in our lives, to speak appreciation for life itself and all its simple blessings — homemade soup bubbling on the stove, smell of pumpkin scones baking, crunch of autumn leaves, sweet air to breathe, arrangements of geese honking overhead, fireplace and candles lit against falling snow, breaking trail in snowshoes, taste of Chai … actually the list is quite long.
I think maybe what the ancient king was trying to say is that life happens. And if life consists of blending birth with death, joy with sorrow, and dancing with mourning, then maybe we could be more aware of and speak gratitude for the good that settles over us, and not be surprised when the heart-breaking events put in an appearance.
A friend who lost her husband when her children were young shared something her daughter said when she went off to college: “When dad died, it was really horrible and hard. But I like who I became.”
This expresses so well how I feel. The sorrow of losing my first husband to cancer changed my way of life, which I didn’t want changed. But it also changed me, which happened to be a good thing.
Are you in a new season you wouldn’t have asked for? In time, I hope you can say with me, “Though I didn’t want this loss, I’m so grateful for what God grew in me, and I love where He’s placed me in this new and beautiful season.”
I love how you put life into words, Marlys. I love Fall too for all the reasons you mention, though I go into it reluctantly because I also mourn Summer sunshine and blue skies. My mom used to say that “we have to have the bad times to appreciate the good.” It took me a few years to realize what she was saying was that even in the hard times, there is always something to be grateful for and you just have to focus on those things. This year I have been without her in my life for as many years as I had her and I continue to hear her words. Thank you for yours 💞
Thank you for your kind words, Nancy. It sounds as if you had a very wise mom.
Great insight Marlys! God even uses our sorrows. I didn’t understand that when I went thru an unwanted hard divorce years ago. Looking back, I can see how it grew me and strengthened my faith and love for the Lord!! Romans 8:28.
So glad to hear your perspective, Roxanne: “Looking back, I can see how it grew me and strengthened my faith and love for the Lord.” Thank you.
I love fall also. Thank You Marlys
What’s not to love about fall — right, Danelle?!
Thank you for this lovely piece. I am currently reading Ecclesiastes and just read chapter 3 yesterday and God really spoke to me through it. Each season, even the hard ones, have their beauty and purposes. The dark and stormy seasons can sweep away the dead wood and bring new growth if we let God be in control. What would we do without Him? He is beauty and wonder and the breath of life.
I love this, Beth: “Each season, even the hard ones, have their beauty and purposes.” Thank you.
Thank you, Marlys…I truly needed this today. My oldest brother took his life 54 years ago. Today he would be 80.
I must say, I was young, but this helped shape me to be strong and learn more about Jesus.
Oh, Pat. I can’t imagine going through a family suicide, but I love your positive report that came from that hard season. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful thoughts. I’m in a season of caring for my mom who has dementia. It’s tough but I was thinking the other day that I don’t want to rush through this (even though I do!) because I know there’s lessons in this for me, and growing I need to do. thanks for sharing.
I know those mixed emotions, Carrie. My mom lived with us for 4-1/2 years slipping further into Alzheimer’s. I learned a lot during that hard season (my husband had late-stage cancer at the same time). I’ve always said I’d do it all over again … only, I’d do it better.
I need this message today. Thank you. 🙂
You’re so welcome, Melissa.
Well said, Marlys. ❤️
Thank you, Julie!